This paper explores two policy efforts to revitalize public housing communities: education reform and HOPE VI. Chicago underwent transformation of housing and schools from 2000 to 2014. I examine school integration planning efforts of three local actors in a Chicago neighborhood and ask how do actors make integration strategies work? This research investigates how efforts to remedy existing segregation in a Chicago neighborhood combined housing and school integration efforts through a single case study approach comprised of 20 in-depth interviews. Findings show that two approaches encouraged fairness in the residential mix, but did not promote an integrated educational experience. The third approach shows how a purposeful integration strategy works as part of a place-based effort. This study provides a lens to understand ongoing local community organizing efforts supporting education reform in a Chicago neighborhood and offers lessons learned by local actors about effective approaches to address the barriers to building mixed income communities.
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